Archive for January, 2010

Chased by a Bear!! Cycle Commuted to Sydney. Did a three-peat of Mt Mee (and its my 27th anniversary today!)

January 29, 2010

22 January, 2010

COMMUTING FROM BRISBANE TO SYDNEY

Such is my urgency about the need to train seriously, that when I needed to go to Sydney for Wednesday and Thursday last week, I wasn’t game to take the two days off the bike. So I commuted to Sydney by bike!

Well…kind of…I put the trailer on the back of the bike tossed in a couple of days change of clothes, rode to the Redkite Brisbane office, showered changed and  then took the train to the airport. Then the next day I did it in reverse, flew back to Brisbane, caught the train to the office, tossed the overnight bag back into the trailer and rode home. It was actually pretty good training, pulling the load was a bit like hill training J.

 My commuter and trailer loaded and in the Redkite office:

 That is actually the Mountain Bike that I use for the gravel part of the S2S ride (I just change the tyres to “knobbies” instead of the slicks that I commute on). I’ve done 18000 k on that bike as of this morning (18002 to be exact)

THREE-PEAT OF MT MEE

Else where on the training front the sense of urgency was also very obvious.

The normal approach to longer distance hill training is to increase the distance by a maximum of about 10% per week. Well let’s face it, that is never going to work for me…there just isn’t enough time to build up that slowly!

So I increased my long training ride this week by 120% in terms of distance (90k) and 70% in terms of meters of vertical gain (1678m of climbing). It was made up of 3 times up and down Mt Mee, plus riding out there and back from my home.

Elevation profile of the ride:

 CHASED BY A BEAR

 The Bear story is almost true, except it wasn’t a…

It was a…

        

 I am lucky enough to live in a koala area (that photo was actually taken in my front yard a while back)

but the down side of that is that you occasionally see dead ones on the road.

This week on my commute home Monday afternoon, one was trying to cross the highway in busy traffic. Luckily the car in front of me saw it and swerved, so I was able to get in front of the Koala on my bike then heard him off the road through a field and up a tree!!

Ok, so I chased the “bear” it didn’t chase me…at least it had a happy ending J

27TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

How lucky am I. So I’ll be commuting home a bit early today as Trace and I are going out for a celebratory dinner.

Mt Glorious & Mt Nebo are my targets for my long ride this weekend

Talk again next week

Tim

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Tim’s Training Blog; Week 3, Day 2 (NB…1. this is mildly inappropriate -so I apologise in advance and 2. these blogs are prepared outside of work hours!!!)

January 20, 2010

Tuesday, 1 December 2009 4:31 PM

Hi Everyone

Well another week into the training and its going pretty well…though not without some challenges in the past week.

In particular; while at the Sydney Redkite Supporter’s-Party-after-Party I decided to explore the impact of alcohol consumption on pre-training hydration. Well, lets just say that in spite of remaining within Redkite’s RSA policy, I ended up quite well hydrated. Strangely it did not help my fitness nor weight-loss targets, so I had to be SUPER good in the latter part of the week to compensate!

At the same event there was also some brainstorming around potential fundraising methods that would have the allegedly “beneficial” side effect of adding to the “professional cyclist image” that I am attempting to cultivate.

On first impression that sounds as if people were trying to be helpful, however it basically boiled down to suggestions related to me having my leg hair ripped out by the roots with hot wax (that is barbaric!!). I am no longer entirely sure that some of the Sydney women are actually on my side!? I was particularly concerned by the direction that the suggestions took from there, but suffice to say that if I end up bald and beardless I’d better make a fortune for Redkite AND, even though Heather made an articulate case and an impassioned plea for me to “do it for the kids”…I won’t be taking it quite as far as she suggested; not for all the money in the world. (What is this “First Float on the Mardi Gras” thing that she kept referring to?? We don’t have that up here in Qld…)

 Besides I don’t see what is wrong with my leg hair just as it is:hairy

Beth tried to tell me I’d be more aerodynamic if I waxed my legs like the professional cyclists do! How gullible do you think I am Beth? (Though obviously if Sandy had told me that, I would have believed her). I’ve now done my research and it turns out that “aerodynamics” is only why 1% of cyclists shave. The main reason blokes who cycle shave their legs is a combination of “aesthetics”, plus fitting in with the other cyclists plus advertising that they are cyclists to the rest of the world (total of 61%).

 So basically that means that they do it so they will have smooth sexy looking legs to flash at pedestrians as they roll past, while hanging out with their mates dressed in body-hugging, flamboyantly coloured clothing…Interesting…I wonder what Trace would say about that??..(Oh …”Mardi Gras”…now I get it!!) 

Well, that certainly sounds like my scene so I might be prepared to go there if there is enough money involved…at least to shave them; waxing sounds way too scary (yes yes I know that most of you reading this have put yourself through worse things in pursuit of aesthetics -not you Geoff – oh possibly not you either Jarred ??).

 SO…now I need to do some market research. What are my legs worth? I need suggestions for what people think that I should try to sell the following off for…then I will think about it for a while…then if I don’t chicken out I’ll put them up for sale and see if I get the asking price. (NB by participating in this research you are not obliged to actually make an offer when I go on sale…this is just research at this stage)

 Leg shave          $

Leg wax            $          (this needs to be LOTS more money than the shave)

Beard shave      $

Mo shave          $

Head shave       $

The lot             $          (lets be absolutely clear “The Lot” means “All of the Above” NOT what Heather was suggesting)

 Anyway: training outcomes for the past week:

In spite of the Supporters Party and the related 3 days off the bike due to interstate travel I continued to:

  1. Not Die                         Hurray!!
  2. Lose weight:                 Lost another kilo (down to 84kg)
  3. Extend distance:            Now up to 29.5km per day
  4. Extend time                   now up to 70 mins per day

 

My big achievement for the week was that yesterday I got back into riding to work as the core of my training. (Thankfully with the commuting as my training it means that the long rides aren’t a huge loss of time in the day because it takes about 45 mins for me to get to work on the train, so the bike is only a 25 min difference) 

 My aim for this week is to just do the one-way commute each day then start commuting in both directions by the start of next week, (which will have me at just under 60k per day riding).

 Talk with you next week

Tim

Tim’s Sea 2 Summit training update (including photographic evidence that S2S, 2010 is the culmination of a 40 year cycling “career” LOL)

January 20, 2010

Monday, 23 November 2009 1:57 PM

My parents are moving into a retirement village and in the process of a bit of packing this photo surfaced.

Yep; that is me aged about 11 or 12 in 1970 or 1971 on my single speed “Supreme”!

I got the bike in 1969 and absolutely fell in love with the freedom of cycling around the local area with friends, so I’ve been riding for 40years… Ok, ok its hardly a “cycling career” but if you haven’t realised that the “truth” is going to be severely stretched in these updates yet, then you are WAY TOO TRUSTING.

AND; how cool did I think I was with that denim jacket and jeans & boots!!

Super brief report of training outcomes for the week;

  • I didn’t die (which was the main aim)
  • I managed to lose just over one kilo in weight
  • I stuck with the plan (ie riding pretty slowly and just extending the time on the bike by a few minutes each day). So got my riding up to 49 mins and 20km this morning.

 

The aim for the coming week:

  • to lose more weight,
  • continue to extend my daily ride time (aiming to get up to about 1 hour 15mins by this time next week), but don’t increase the pace yet.

 

Intended outcome:

This week should prepare me to start commuting to work as my main daily training next week. It is sooooo much better use of time to combine commuting with training instead of doing what I’m doing at the moment ie blowing time on training and yet still having to catch the train to work. It is a 30k trip to the office from home so I’ll start with riding one way and catching the train the other way for a week or so then get up to doing the two way commute daily which gives me about 300k a week on weeks that I don’t have to be interstate and can ride all 5 days. Well that is the plan anyway!

Talk again next week

Tim

OMG !!! Sea 2 Summit training begins

January 20, 2010

Sent: Monday, 16 November 2009 10:03 AM

Hi All

The great news is that Sea 2 Summit is on again and I am privileged to represent Redkite on the Ride. It is a fantastic event, and as Damien describes it “an epic ride from Sea Level to the top of Australia in a day”. The bad news is that it is in 18 weeks time (March 20th, 2010) and I am fat and unfit L.

I am really hoping to have everyone’s support to get sponsorship from far and wide so I can exceed my fundraising effort of 2008 and help make S2S another huge success for Redkite ($100,000 raised in 2008). So to get you engaged and motivated (or feeling sorry for me…or laughing at my expense…or whatever else will get the money rolling in) I thought I’d “share the pain” and do a bit of a weekly “training update”. It’ll hurt ME…but from the comfort of your computer you can join me in what will hopefully be a successful transformation from fat 50 year old bloke to sleek 72kg mountain cyclist (or at least the best impersonation of that I can achieve!!).

Let’s face it; no one wants me looking like this when I ride into town:

Today is day one of week one. My next update will be day one of week two.

THE DAMAGE:

  • This time last year (almost to the day) I was fit and healthy, weighed about 73kg, was cycling an average of 350k per week, AND I had just completed S2S 2008 (it was on 15th Nov 2008). I was pretty happy with myself.
  • Today I am 13kgs heavier, haven’t cycled for about 6 months, am one month short of my 50th birthday and feeling every day of it

THE SOLUTION:

  • Today is day one of S2S 2010 training

THE THEORY:

  • Mountain road cycling is all about
  1. power : weight ratio (be light but be strong)
  2. endurance
  3. the love of riding up mountains (Lance was right; its not about the bike!!)
  • Starting slowly is better than having a heart attack and dying…I am a big fan of not doing the latter, so I’ll be building up slowly (though I cannot afford to build too slowly with only 18weeks to go)

To state the obvious, right now the “power to weight ratio” is not looking good, nor is the endurance, but luckily I love cycling in the mountains. (1 out of 3 is better than nothing!)

THE TARGETS

  • Power : weight ratio: My ideal mountain climbing weight is probably about 70kg…but I’d be happy to get back to 73 or 72k for S2S 2010, so my target weight: 72kg.
  • Endurance: Target: I must get back to 350 k per week of riding including at least one 100k ride in the mountains each weekend
  • Love of cycling, especially in the mountains: Woo hooooo I’ve achieved my first target goal…that wasn’t so hard

So down to action (ok ok… “action” is a bit of an exaggeration given today’s effort)

Day One of training:

Being very aware of the benefit of not having a heart attack and dying, I just aimed to do a gentle, 20 minute, 7.5 k ride.

Hopped on the bike this morning…OMG the next few weeks are going to hurt!!! Ouch…forgot I had that muscle….OMG and that one…oh my knee…puff pant groan…

This week I’ll just aim to increase my rides by 3 or 4 minutes per day so I am up to about 40 mins by this time next week, AND the pace will be slow slow slow (remember the main goal is not to die…or wreck my knee joints for that matter).

The other big goal for the week is to get serious about losing weight…dragging an extra 14kg around with me is just dumb.

I’ll update you on progress next Monday.

Thanks for reading (if you did 🙂 )

Tim

Sea To Summit 2008 Ride Report (Merimbula Beach to Mt Kosciuszko)

January 20, 2010

Last year, Redkite’s own Tim Rogers rode in the Sea 2 Summit Challenge. Read his blog here.

Postby Pax » Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:50 pm

Bit of a long post but hopefully captures some of the enjoyment and challenge of the “Sea to Summit” that I rode in on Saturday. It is a huge one-day ride from Sea Level (Merimbula Beach) to the top of Australia (the top of Mt Kosciuszko) covering 239k with an aggregate climb of almost 5500m. It’s a “boutique” fundraising ride organised by Damian Heman (an unbelievable effort) and raises essential funds for Redkite (a leading national children’s and young person’s cancer charity). About 40 riders raised over $95,000. Tax deductable donations are still welcome via Everyday Hero http://www.everydayhero.com.au/s2schallenge I’d be delighted if you do that and put your donation against my name :lol: (Tim Rogers)

The ride started in good weather at Merimbula. Everyone was twitchy with uncertainty and expectation. We were all concerned about the briefing the night before which described the ride in detail and identified which vehicle the defibulator was in if it was needed :shock: !!!!!

12.5 K into the ride we successfully negotiated the first of the timber plank bridges with no mishaps…unfortunately a number of riders came off their bikes on similar bridges later when their wheels dropped between the planks. Egos bruised :oops: but no one was seriously hurt.

37k into the ride we hit the first serious climb; Mt Darragh is a 20k long ascent through temperate rain forest and more road kill than anyone who is sucking the air in deeply needs to experience!! After the 920m peak we were 58k into the ride and enjoyed the first rest stop.

At 86 k we reached Bombala. Just before the town a big grey kangaroo decided to show off how effortlessly he could keep up with us (we were doing about 35 kph at the time) The roo came alongside the team, about 20m to our left and bounded along for 300m before accelerating to get ahead of us and powering off into the countryside. Just out of town, the peloton slowed on a hill and another rider clipped my back wheel. I stayed up but he went down hard on the side of the road. Miraculously no one else went down with him but he carried a sore shoulder for the rest of the ride. The first hint of the head wind stirred

113k took us onto a gravel road. We changed to mountain bikes for 20k of VERY rough, windy, exhausting gravel, most of which was uphill and the final 3 k of which was a serious climb. My mate Nick powered along on his favoured type of bike, while I bitched and winged and frankly couldn’t wait to get back onto the road bike :( . This was the first time I felt tired. We were being tested however the team’s spirits were high.

133k We switched back to road bikes. The head wind came up strongly, and continued to strengthen, and there were some serious climbs into the wind before we got to our Dalgety rest stop. Our minds however were on the Beloka Range; steepest climb of the route. In the briefing Damian described it as a steep 3k long climb that starts with a vertical wall of bitumen…and he wasn’t really joking. Trace and the support crew excelled themselves at this stop with fantastic food, isotonic drinks and everything needed to help us conquer the wall of Beloka (except motors for our bikes). It was seriously hot and windy.

177k. Beloka rises above the surrounding treeless countryside, looking more intimidating as you approach. It plays with your head, especially when you take the final turn in the road and see the “vertical wall of bitumen” rising ahead. We hit it with as much pace as we could muster but all of it had disappeared within the first 150m, so we were grinding slowly upwards. Soon riders started to run out of steam & it was “standing room only” on the bus by half way up the hill. Thankfully my Samford/Mt Glorious training ride is a similar type of road and prepared me well for Beloka. None of us were quick, but a number of us experienced the satisfaction of beating Beloka…that is still making me smile as I type this :D .

194k Jindabyne. One of the absolute highlights of the ride happened here: One of the riders (Andrew) was greeted with the hugest hug of delight and pride from his 4 year old daughter. It was an absolutely magic moment. The descent into Jindabyne was also a highlight, flying down the hill at 76kph felt fantastic after all that climbing.

At 201k we entered Mt Kozzi National Park, and the group started to split up as riders pushed to achieve the fading hope of doing the additional track to the summit (we had to be there by 6.30 to be allowed onto the track). The group became a stretched, broken line and the bus started to pick up those who had exhausted every last resource they had to give for that day.

At 215k those who were left were climbing to Rennix Gap. It was getting seriously cold. I knew there was one person in front of me from our team, and 2 beside me. I had no idea where Nick was. This part of the climb was steep, and over the next 5k our group of 3 broke up. One dropped back and one pulled ahead of me. It really was one man riding from here on. Some supporters were stopping every few kilometres to encourage us. Their few seconds of shouting, asking if we were alright & offering water gave us milestones to reach. “I’m fine” & “No thanks” is all I could manage in return…I had to use my energy to breath and peddle, not to talk! It became clear at this point that reaching the end of the road was possible (not certain) but the additional track to the summit wasn’t going to happen for me this year.

Around Smiggin Holes another rider passed me. The headwind was devastating and this climb was relentless. One of the families asked if I needed warm gear, I just said “No thanks, I’d rather be cool than stop”. I wished I’d asked them to check with me again in a few k in case I needed it then. As it turned out they didn’t turn up again and I was getting colder with each k.

225k Perisher Valley. Not a good name when you are starting to wonder about your capacity to get through the ride and are getting colder! It sounds melodramatic, but I wondered how long it would be before I was “rescued” if I had to stop. I honestly though I’d freeze in my sweat-soaked light weight cycling gear, and I was pretty sure that the bus would be kilometres behind me moving at the pace of the end rider, so it probably wouldn’t come along for half an hour or more. It was a disconcerting thought. (OK I needed to HTFU but…but I was pleased to find out later that there were other riders who had though similar things during this part of the ride).

From here on it was just a matter of refusing to stop. AND YES at this point I thought of the families Redkite supports and who are going through REAL challenges that are not of their choosing…not just some bike ride!! So I told myself to just count off the final 8 or 9 k of climbing and wind and cold 8…7….6…..5……4…….3……..2……….1…oh thank god, that’s the Charlottes Pass accommodation just ahead, so its not far now……….its the turn-off….don’t turn off, keep going the end must be just around the bend and up the last bit of hill….the end of the road!!!!! Some cheering families, 3 other exhausted but encouraging riders. Made it! Wow…and whew!!

We were asked to wait until we had 5 or 6 of us to ride down to Charlottes Pass so the crew could film us. I hid behind a car out of the freezing wind that was blowing off the snow covered ridges behind us. For 5 or 6 minutes I felt cold but OK. The next couple of riders arrived. One was exhausted, but his mate was wrecked. He looked like he couldn’t even get off his bike at first. His was a courageous ride! Then suddenly I stared to shiver then within seconds was shaking big uncontrollable shakes and went from cold, to frozen to the bone. I’ve never felt so cold in my life!! One of the organisers told us to get inside asap so we rode down to Charlottes. I could barely control my bike on the winding descent because of my shaking. As soon as I got to the first building I ran inside. It was empty but it was out of the wind. I warmed up marginally then went back out into the cold, found my rain jacket & arm & leg warmers in the support vehicle and pulled them on. It was the most horrible cold but also the most satisfying feeling to have finished. We got ourselves to our accommodation where Trace, Sally and Mimi had hot food going…I stood in front of the stove and started to thaw out. It started to feel pretty good, though I didn’t feel truly warm until hours later!!

I found out that a number of the other team that had started the ride a bit earlier than ours had also finished and unbelievably, for the first time ever, 4 of the riders from that team had got there in time for the rangers to allow them onto the track up to the top of the mountain. Damian was so proud to have finally got some people to the actual summit on the day of the ride. They must have ridden spectacularly to get there by 6.30pm.

The next day we rode to the summit. Given that we went through snow drifts to get there it is no surprise that it felt cold last night at the end of the ride!!

So there you have it. Sea to Summit 2008. I suspect that we will be putting my name down for 2009, I’ll be aiming to shave about 45 mins off my time so I can get onto the final track!!

If you would like to ride this March, or donate to Redkite, visit s2schallenge.com.au or redkite.org.au.